What you need to know about the world’s biggest DDoS attack

Gigaom

This story was updated at 2.15am PT on Thursday to reflect CyberBunker’s denial that it or its hosting customers ever sent spam. The company does not deny involvement in the attack, though.

The last week has seen probably the largest distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack ever. It’s being reported in fairly dramatic terms, with the New York Times and BBC talking about the internet getting jammed or slowed down.

So what’s actually going on? Here’s a rundown of some key points:

A what attack?

DDoS attacks, as the “distributed” part suggests, involve large numbers of computers bombarding a target system with traffic, with the idea being to stop that system from functioning. A bunch of South Korean banks and broadcasters got temporarily crippled by such an attack a week ago, for example.

Who got hit this time?

The intended target appears to be Spamhaus, a European organization that maintains…

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